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Trouble with temp today

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First time in about 4 smokes I had trouble maintaining temp. Did some chickens today and got the temp up to about 225 for about an hour and then it dropped off. Added more coal,put on a piece of wood, lots of smoke but not very good heat. Don't know what went wrong today with it.

I usually start my lump coal in a large aluminum foil pan, (like you would roast a turkey in, in the oven.) This makes cleaning a breeze, after the smoke I just slide the pan out and dump it in the garbage. I put some paper under the coal first so it will light under the coal. Sprinkle a little lighter fluid on it and light it up. After it gets going I throw a piece of wood on it and I'm good to go, but today all my efforts failed to maintain a good heat. After 4 hours the chicken was still only at 140 deg. So I had to finish it off in the oven.

Wish I knew how to post a pic of my homemade smoker so you could see what I'm doing wrong. Says my pic is too big to upload. I could still email them to anyone that wants to take a look. Thanks for any help-Russ
post #2 of 11
check your private message and send to that address.
post #3 of 11
Wow where to start, first we need more info but your roaster pan is not a good place to have your charcoal. You need to have airflow, look around this site some more and all your questions will be answered.

First step by a charcoal chimmney, no lighter fluid. Then work on a better charcoal pan and you'll see a improvement.
post #4 of 11
Got em... I'll resize and resend to you so you can post. Give me a few minutes.
post #5 of 11
Actually I'll upload them to my host. Not a whole lot of time...
post #6 of 11
These pictures belong to "footbrake", I'm only hosting them for him for now.

post #7 of 11
What he said. Ditch the roaster pan and make a charcoal basket out of expanded metal or something that the ash can fall through.

Make sure it sits up of the bottom of the smoker so that there is a place for the ash.

Throw away the ligher fluid and don't ever buy any again.biggrin.gif Use a charcoal chimney instead.

post #8 of 11
You can even put your charcoal in a barbeque wok. Like this one... wally world has them , I have even seen a square one somewhere.


They allow the coals to breath and the holes are big enough to let the ash fall through.

Instead of using lighter fluid, ( the sure sign of a rookie ) get yourself a charcoal chimney. They burn cleaner, cheaper and faster, getting your coals red hot in no time. Lighter fluid will impart a nasty petroleum taste to your meat.

This one works great. Stay away from models that are galvanized, galvanized gives of gasses that are not good for you. They work supriseingly well.

post #9 of 11
gotta say thats a great smoker built outta what ya got on hand, i dig it. your fire box may need some airvents also, all the pieces seem to be there they just need alittle tweak here and there
post #10 of 11
I must say that you have the most creative smoker that I have ever seen. It has merits as well as faults but keep on smokin. What exactly WERE you smokin when you built it???

post #11 of 11
Dude I got to give you points for creativity!
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